Go for it Johnson – Why this experienced 29-year-old Spanish star would be a real coup for Bristol City

Why Spanish striker Rodri could be a real coup for Bristol City

According to Bristol Live, Bristol City have been credited with an interest in former Spanish U-21 striker Rodrigo Rios Lozano, commonly known as Rodri, who is currently a free agent following his departure from Granada earlier in the summer.

Bristol City are on the lookout for a new striker to cover for the absence of Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe, who is expected to serve a long spell on the sidelines after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and the Robins are keen to scour the pool of free-agents to bring in a replacement as soon as possible. 

Wilfried Bony and Gary Hooper have been linked with moves to Ashton Gate in recent weeks but as per the report, Lee Johnson has now turned his attention to Rodri, who had a short loan stint at Sheffield Wednesday earlier in his career.

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The 29-year-old free-agent is currently a trialist at Bristol City and the Robins are expected to be on the verge of offering the Spaniard professional terms until the end of the ongoing campaign, Bristol Live understands. 

Having graduated from the youth system at Sevilla, Rodri went on to make seven first-team appearances for his boyhood club before moving on to join Barcelona B in 2011.

However, he never really managed to establish himself as a regular in the club’s reserve team and had loan stints at Hillsborough, Real Zaragoza and Almeria before departing for 1860 Munich in the German second-tier. 

A brief spell in Germany included a loan stint at Real Valladolid before the striker returned to his homeland to ply his trade with the likes of Cordoba, Cultural Leonesa and Granada.

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Rodri netted only 5 times in 33 appearances for Granada last season with 17 of those appearances coming as starts, but that wasn’t enough for him to earn a new contract.

To put things into perspective, Bristol City currently find themselves in dire need of some extra firepower in front of goal following the long-term injury to Afobe and Rodri, though not really a striker who boasts of a prolific record, could add much-needed experience, depth and guile to the Robins’ forward line.

The 29-year-old’s brief stay at Hillsborough during the 2012-13 season wasn’t a fruitful one, with the striker only finding the net once in 11 appearances for the Owls, and Bristol City will be hoping for much better returns if they do end up offering him a deal. 

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The likes of Andreas Weimann and Famara Diedhiou are players with proven pedigree in the Championship and Rodri would probably only play a bit-part role even if a move does materialize. 

However, it is worth mentioning that several years have passed since his failed stint at Sheffield Wednesday and at 29, Rodri has more experience under his belt to make a bigger impact in the Championship. 

The Robins are vying for a playoff spot after a bright start to the season and Rodri certainly has the CV to back it up at Ashton Gate.

He might have only flattered to deceive over the years in terms of his scoring returns but the Spaniard has a good burst of pace, decent strength, as well as the ability to put away chances with both feet to add that X-Factor to Bristol’s attack. 

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Verdict

It won’t be much of a gamble for the Robins to sign him up, given that he is still a free agent and Johnson is only looking at him as a short-term fix until the end of the season. 

With that in mind, Bristol City should not hesitate to offer the experienced Spanish hitman a deal in a bid to cope with the ongoing injury crisis.

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Written by Sayan

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, travelling etc.

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